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Nobody hits Mega Millions, pushing Friday’s jackpot to record $476 million

Updated Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 11:10 p.m.

No one hit all six Mega Millions numbers pulled Tuesday night, upping the $363 million jackpot to an estimated record $476 million for Friday’s drawing, according to the lottery’s website.

Tuesday's winning combination was: 9, 19, 34, 44, 51 and Mega Ball No. 24, according to lottery officials.

According to the Mega Millions website, 47 tickets hit five numbers but were missing the Mega Ball number. The prize amount for matching the five numbers is $250,000.

Las Vegans flocked to Primm, on the California-Nevada border, on Tuesday to buy $1 tickets to try their luck at winning the jackpot.

“It’s pretty crazy out here,” said a Primm Valley Lotto Store manager.

The jackpot is the third largest since the multistate Mega Millions lottery started in 1996, said Alex Traverso, California spokesman for Mega Millions.

Traverso said the odds of winning Tuesday's jackpot were 1 in 176 million.

If anyone hits Friday's jackpot, the winner can decide between receiving the money in a lump sum of $341 million or the total amount over the course of 26 years, according to the lottery website.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot to date — $390 million — was won in 2007; the second-largest — $380 million — was awarded in January 2011.

“Both of those tickets were actually split,” Traverso said.

The line to buy tickets at the store outside Primm had a wait of about two and a half hours, according to an employee who declined to give his name.

“It’s a large jackpot and people are excited about playing,” Traverso said.

Ticket sales stopped at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.

“They’ve sold plenty of high-dollar amount tickets,” said Traverso, adding that a ticket sold at the Primm store had never hit the Mega jackpot.

Traverso said the location was one of the top three California locations in terms of ticket sales.

If no one hits Tuesday night, “we’re going to obliterate the record on Friday,” Traverso said.

The estimated jackpot is based on ticket sales. Because no tickets matched all six numbers Tuesday, it is estimated the Mega Millions jackpot for Friday’s drawing will be about $476 million.

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